Thirteen, episode 4 – review

“The secondary stories are limping to unsatisfying conclusions.”

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© BBC

Written by Michael Lee.

There may be one skeleton in the cellar but naturally many more lie in the cupboards of everyone connected to the Moxam case. Ivy finds herself in custody and under questioning is quiet as the grave. The threat of arrest and the supporting arms of a mother lead to the truth about Dylan coming out. She didn’t murder him of course but the fact that there was even the slightest suspicion she might have is full credit to the writing. Kudos too, to Jodie Comer who throughout the interrogation scene is a bambi eyed mix of lost, angry and distressed.

Carne (Richard Rankin) is a man on a mission this week, furious at being taken in by Ivy’s misdiretion he cuffs her aggressivly, punches the table and jumps off his wit’s end. Lisa, despite her cold exterior has gradually emerged as the one with both heart and sense – as she ruefully says “I do (take things seriously) I just don’t let it affect my work.” As the series has progressed there have been more and more questionable antics from the police, and it is also worth noting a lack of support from outside sources. Yes, this situation is one of a kind for this country but where are the experts from abroad who have been involved in similar cases? For the quality of the show generally represents, these are quibbles we can put down to dramatic effect.

Let’s not forget in all this that Mark White has kidnapped Phoebe and the hunt is still stuttering. Not content with writing letters, his method of communication has progressed to phones as he calls the police station demanding to talk with ‘Alison’. The scene where Ivy walks through the station as officers stare was very reminiscent of Life On Mars without the smoking and moustaches. It felt like Gene Hunt was going to shout out “Oi, grubby cardi!” at any moment. White corners them into a showdown, Ivy has to meet him at Cabot Circus and demands for no police to attend. AS IF.

While the Mark White thread is ramping up to full gear, many of the secondary stories are limping to unsatisfying conclusions. Eloise’s guilt seems solely centred on not meeting Ivy that fateful day which was a reveal last time out. Tim (Aneurin Barnard) too is proving a letdown – he simply wants to declare his love for Ivy. We also have confirmation that Natasha and Henry were together 13 years ago but it was more a partnership of convenience than passion.

So, in a rare glimmer of hope (yes really) Natasha and Angus look set to have put their issues behind them while relationships elsewhere are eroding like flesh left to rot since, say about 2009. Craig has packed up his things and left Emma, Tim crawls back into the bed of Yazz but stares at the ceiling with another girl on his mind.  The only way isn’t up with Yazz, there’s also the clinging to a relationship when you love someone else way. Not quite so catchy admittedly.

The stakes are high for next week, hopefully a measured, intriguing series doesn’t descend into farce and become a spaghetti-western set in a Bristol shopping centre (“Are youse lookin at me babber?”). There’s a lot resting on this, bringing a kidnapper and murderer to justice, a child’s life and not forgetting that Ivy will be able to pop into Topshop and buy a new jumper.  7/10

CASE NOTES:

– When Ivy muttered “sorry, sorry, sorry” she was aiming it at Mark wasn’t she?

– Will we ever see Mark’s face properly (other than photographs) or will he be a near invisible menace throughout?

– Is Phoebe still alive?

–  While it’s very unlikely Phoebe is Ivy’s child, there is still the distinct possibility that she had a child with White.

– Who else felt a bit sorry for Mr Headmaster man? Even if it was for just a few seconds?

– Will the case be fully solved and have a full stop?

– Then will Lisa and Elliott have some sexy making up time.

THEORIES:

– Mark White will be captured and Phoebe rescued.

– Mark will be captured and Phoebe will be missing or dead.

– Mark captures Ivy setting up series 2 and let’s face it, the sacking of Carne and Merchant!

– A mixture of some of the above or none of it.

– Glad to be of help